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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  January 16, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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"politicsnation" with reverend al sharpton starts right now. good evening, rev. >> good evening, ed. and thanks to you for tuning in. breaking news tonight. a flurry of subpoenas in governor christie's bridge scandal, including in the governor's inner most circle. late today lawmakers in the assembly announced they're sending out 20 subpoenas, demanding all documents that could be related to the lane closings, including e-mails and texts among those being served, 17 people and three organizations, including the governor's reelection campaign. two fired officials are reportedly being served, former deputy chief of staff bridget kelly, who sent the notorious e-mail "time for some traffic problems in ft. lee", and former campaign manager bill stepien.
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all that's on the assembly side. we're also getting late-breaking word of subpoenas from the state senate, including two high-ranking officials, david samson, the chairman of the agency that runs the george washington bridge will be served. he is a very close ally of governor christie's, and he has come under intense scrutiny in recent days. also being served regina egea, governor christie's incoming chief of staff, and someone whose name appeared in documentress leased last week. of note, early this morning we learned the christie administration hired legal counsel in the name of assisting the investigation. and today a fast-moving development is clear the states are rapidly increasing. who else will be subpoenaed? will we get some answers soon? joining me live from outside the
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new jersey state house is assemblyman gordon johnson, who is on the special investigation committee, and former u.s. attorney kendall coffey. assemblyman, this is a wide sko scope. what can you tell us tonight? >> only that we have begun our second phase, or the second part of this investigation. adds we stated before, wherever this investigation leads us, that's where we're going to go. so as we go forward and these subpoenas will be i guess delivered to these individuals probably tomorrow, we will then take up the information they bring us and go from is there. >> will these go to the port authority, to people in the governor's office? >> it's a variety -- as you mentioned at the top of the show, it is going to individuals and organizations. i would not want to name the
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individuals that i know of out of respect for them because they have not been served yet. tomorrow, of course, well, after their served, the list will be made public. but it just goes to show you that the assembly is serious about getting to the bottom of this abuse of power. >> now, it's been stated, and i repeated in the opening that you're asking for e-mails, texts, any kind of documents. how far back are you going? >> i believe they're going back to some time in september, the year 2012, i believe i heard. it's going to be an extended research that we're going to be doing. >> an extended research. very interesting. let me ask you kendall coffey, when i didn't hear the leading assemblyman in the investigation say today he is not sure where this could lead, listen to this.
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>> when i started this investigation, i was convinced that we would be looking at the port authority and only the port authority. and so i'm as surprised as anybody that we're at the point we're at. and so we're going to not omit anything, and we're not going to ex-clute anything, and we're not going have any prejudged decisions. we're going to follow the facts wherever they may lead us. >> now kendall, you have been involved in investigations. take us on the inside of a big investigation like this. what are they looking for and how do they deal with this? >> well, as you were saying, reverend, time for some subpoenas in new jersey. and that's a bunch of them right at the beginning. certainly, they're trying to get personal e-mails as much as any government e-mails and trying to capture text messages which, as you know, don't stick around
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forever. with everything that is out there, there's got to be a concern that what can be the most important evidence in an investigation, e-mail, text messages, those things don't necessarily change the way sometimes a witness's testimony can evolve. that's why they're starting out very aggressively, very expansively with those things. they obviously have identified a number of people they think have some connection to what they believe is decision making. but this does not mean that these 20 subpoenas are the end of it. it could be just the beginning. >> now let me go back to you a minute, representative johnson. senator rockefeller asked the port authority a series of questions, and the port authority's response shows zero evidence of a traffic study behind the gwb, or to the george washington bridge closures. a letter from the port authority, the agency in charge
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of the bridge seems to lay the blame on governor christie's former appointee, david wildstein. now, quote, mr. wildstein made it clear that he would control the communication about the toll lanes closures. mr. wildstein failed to inform or brief the executive director. so they're pointing fingers at wildstein. what do you make of this, mr. johnson? >> well, when we get the subpoenaed information, these texts that were out there and e-mails, as you know, when we began this process early on, we thought it originated in the port authority. after getting the information that was subpoenaed at the prior meeting, during the prior year, e-mails led us to the office of the governor's office. the office of the governor. so it's this -- it's going to be an interesting investigation, and it's going to be a church
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investigation that we put forth here. so who knows where we're going to find up. and i stated before, this is just the beginning of this process, these 20 subpoenas for informational subpoenas. >> even though we're now at the very beginning of the subpoenas going out, do you feel that this rests, a lot of it, in the hands of david wildstein, representative johnson? >> i'm not sure where this is going to take us. but i know mr. wildstein has supplied -- had come before us, as you know, and took the fifth amendment. it's obvious that the messages came from the governor's office. so it will be very difficult for me to believe that it will stop at mr. wildstein. >> let me go back to you again, kendall. what are the possible traditional exposure that is faced here by those involved and
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the governor? because clearly the assembly and the senate investigates on one level. but what are the possible criminal charges, if any, that you think could possibly come from some of this? >> well, we certainly begin by acknowledging the fact that somebody gets a subpoena, even that something is said about something doesn't mean anybody is guilty. what i think from the information we gathered so far, the indications are clear that new jersey has a law when power, the power that is entrusted to a public servant is misused deliberately. it's a crime, it's a felony of official misconduct. and i think that chile there are federal charges that could be considered if the feds want to get create i, the core criminality nalt if there has been a crime is going to be under the new jersey state laws for misuse of power for an unauthorized reason when it's done intentionally. and that, reverend, gets us into
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a lot of complicated issues in terms of who would be the decision-makers with respect to a state criminal investigation? isn't the attorney general of new jersey ultimately in charge? and who points that attorney general. >> so let's follow that for one second. if you have the attorney general in charge and clearly the attorney general may have a conflict here because of the governor's potential involvement, then what happens? a special prosecutor, and who appoints that? the governor? >> well, a special prosecutor could be appointed. new jersey law permits it. and that is a decision which would involve the concurrent action of the attorney general with the approval of the governor. now, the feds may have jurisdiction here. but looking at this as a former prosecutor, it doesn't seem like there is a clear example of a federal crime that would be easy to put together. the most logical charges could
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be under state law, and that would take us into a complicated thicket in terms of figuring out who could independently handle that kind of investigation. >> so representative johnson, would kevin o'dowd, with the governor having nominated his chief of staff to become attorney general now being held back, we are seeing potential conflicts on top of conflicts. but at the same time, the assembly and you are moving forward, and the senator moving forward. and watching all of this is the possibility of dealing with some criminal matters or not dealing with them. but that in itself will be complicated by the fact that we've got to get something on that side that has no conflict of interest. >> what you're saying is very complex. and i guess it's probably true. i have to rely on the leadership of john wisniewski, the chair of
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this committee and the leadership in the assembly to, as they craft out i guess a plan or a strategy, when it gets to that point as to where do we go at that point. >> let me ask you this, kendall. if in fact you went over on the stateside, you were prosecuted, and you started to deal with official misconduct, could you charge or look at charging someone with the misuse of government power or state power if in fact they didn't have the power and was operating on behalf of someone that did? because clearly some people that are in this could not have ordered people in the port authority to do anything. they had to do wit the inference that they were operating for someone who did have the power. >> well, reverend, the specifics of the official misconduct laws refer to a public servant,
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somebody who is working for the government. but you know what they say is a prosecutor's best friend, the laws of conspiracy. and so prosecutors looking at this case would not only consider those who had public power, public authority, but those acting, if there are such other people, in conspiracy with them. >> well, let me repeat what you said. subpoenas do not mean that anyone did anything wrong here. and we'll see where it goes. assemblyman gordon johnson and kendall coffey, thank you both for your time tonight. >> thanks, reverend. >> thank you, reverend sharpton. coming up, more on the breaking news. 20 subpoenas are being served. governor brian schweitzer joins me live. and will he cooperate? more on the christie administration's legal counsel. and white be an appropriate inquiry. stay with us. this is for you.
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as we speak, 20 subpoenas are being served in the chris christie bridge scandal. lawyers are being hired. files are being reviewed, and governor christie's credibility is on the line. that's next. over the pizza pe on chestnut street the modest first floor bedroom in tallinn, estonia and the southbound bus barreling down i-95. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪ there's nothing like being your own boss! and my customers are really liking your flat rate shipping. fedex one rate. really makes my life easier. maybe a promotion is in order.
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good news. i got a new title. and a raise? management couldn't make that happen. [ male announcer ] introducing fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex. subpoenas are in the process of being served in the chris christie bridge scandal. the assemblyman leading up the investigation says that the subpoena list has grown to 17 people and three organizations.
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what will those individuals say under oath? at stake here is their own credibility and the credibility of the man running the state, governor chris christie. not only is he the senior most politician in the state, he is also chair of the republican's governors association and a major name floated for 2016. is his credibility that is really on the line, because whatever happens to him will have you huge implications. joining me now is former montana governor brian schweitzer during his tenure, he held christie's position on the democratic side. as chair of the democratic governor's association. governor, first of all, thank you for coming on the show tonight. >> well, great to be with you, reverend. >> let me ask you, subpoenas coming to some of the closest to the governor. what do you expect from them?
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>> look, i'm not a lawyer, but governor christie is a lawyer. he was a prosecutor. and, you know, there are three options that could come out of all this. the first option is that he is a good lawyer and he was a prosecutor. and when he says there is no evidence that i had any knowledge of this, you know, i'm going to kind of believe him there. second option is that it was kind of a wink and a handshake. his staff would say, now, go go we're going to go over some things. maybe you ought to leave the room. here is the third one, and maybe the worst one. is it possible that his management style is so out of touch with his staff that he doesn't spend any time in the engine room, that he spends all of his time up there on the pop deck, just waving a flag? is it possible that these staffers are running the entire state and he doesn't even know what they're doing? that is the worst option,
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reverend. >> now, governor, i would think that would be the worst option, but let me bring you back to your tenure. you were governor. in the middle of a reelection, is it feasible if you didn't know how something started to happen, that you would have four days of disruption and the largest bridge in your state, less known in the world, and no one would brief you because it may come up at a campaign stop from the media or from some citizen that you're trying to convince them or crowd to vote for you for reelection? >> alice in wonderland reality. absolutely impossible. and to have his deputy chief of staff sending an e-mail, saying that we ought to have some traffic problems. and remember, his deputy chief of staff took the place of the guy who became his campaign manager. so it looks like there was a lot of coordination going on within the governor's office.
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and my gosh, if he wasn't paying attention to this, what other shenanigans were they doing all over new jersey? that might be the next question. >> and then when you look at all of these people that were involved, i mean, and all of the people that have been cited and very close to the governor, you were governor of montana. was your deputy chief of staff in another building or very close to you physically in terms -- >> two doors down. >> two doors down. >> two doors down. two doors down was in my office. >> go ahead. >> in my office two or three times a day. as a governor, you sign 20, 30, 40 documents a day. and your staff goes over those documents, reviews them, makes sure they're ready to be signed. you sign them. they go off to be notarized. your deputy chief of staff is right next to you. your right-hand person. >> now let me ask you this. you headed the democratic governor's association. mr. christie heads the republican governor's association.
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what will this do, this scandal that seems to continue to grow now? what will it do with his standing among republican governors and republicans nationally as well as his prospects for 2016? give me the politics of what goes on as a party leader and then as a potential presidential candidate. >> it ain't good. let me tell you why. first off, the chair of the republican governors or democratic governors has to travel the country to raise money you. are to have the confidence of those donors. second, you need candidates in every one of these states that are running to want to stand beside you and let the people of their state believe that if they elect this fellow or this gal to be governor or republican governor, they're going to be in the mold of this fellow who came from new jersey. now, are you sure that a lot of the states across this country want to have a governor in the mold of the shenanigans that have been going on here? whether he did them knowingly or
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it was his staff running rogue. listen, we've heard that governors run for president because they have records. he has bigger problems than this thing. new jersey has, let's see, the highest unemployment and taxes in america. and according to a recent study of george mason university, they say new jersey ranks 50th, last place in financial management. so he's got a scandal brewing here. but he has been governor for four years. they have the worst managed state in the union. people are going to say i don't think we need that as our president. >> let me ask you, what do you think is going on inside of that governor's office now with all of this going on, subpoenas dropping today. what do you think is the climate and the movements going on inside that office? >> i bet you they ain't sending any e-mails anymore, reverend. >> former governor of montana brian schweitzer. i want to say i'm used to seeing you in your bolo tie. you wore your sunday tie for me
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tonight. >> i dressed up for you, reverend. this is my sunday go to meeting clothes, just for you. >> thank you for your time tonight, governor. good to see you. coming up -- >> my pleasure. >> -- the christie team talks again about fully cooperating with, quote appropriate inquiries. what exactly do they mean by that? plus, and an ironic headline from a young christie. the time he was happy a bridge was open. also, attorney general eric holder is taking a big step on racial profiling. stay with us. it says here that a woman's sex drive
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it may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, changes in eyesight including blurry vision, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or skin sores from diabetes. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. ask your doctor about lyrica today. it's specific treatment for diabetic nerve pain. here is the new reality for governor christie. there is going to be unexpected scrutiny on his past. especially when it comes to bridges. traffic jams, and bullied politics.
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talking points memo unearthed this story on christie's reputation as a political bully even way back when he was president of his college congress. but here is where the story gets ironic. they uncovered this headline in the student newspaper. bridge to be opened for graduation. you can see a college photo of christie. he was excited to learn the bridge would be open. quote, there will be no impediment nor the june 1983 commencement at least as planned now. coming up, more on that other bridge, the one with the impediment, and a christie team hiring lawyers today. that's next. ♪
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lanes. we know who received it. we don't know why it was sent. >> that's the new jersey assemblyman leading the investigation into the bridge scandal. he says that in the process of serving 20 subpoenas in the case, and the question now, will the governor's office cooperate? the governor's office has hired an outside law firm to help with an internal review. and when the governor first addressed the scandal last week, he pledged his full cooperation. >> listen, i have absolutely nothing to hide. and i have not given any instruction to anyone yet. but my instruction to everybody will be to cooperate and answer questions. >> nothing to hide. but this week his language changed. >> without a doubt, we will cooperate with all appropriate inquiries to insure that this breach of trust does not happen
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again. >> they'll cooperate with all appropriate inquiries. that's also what the governor's office said in a statement today. quote, his administration is fully cooperating with the u.s. attorney inquiry and other appropriate inquiries and requests for information. there are several investigations into the bridge scandal, and the assemblyman leading one of them said today his is definitely appropriate. >> the governor made a statement that he will cooperate with all appropriate investigations. we're certainly an appropriate investigation. >> we'll have to see if the governor agrees. joining me now is steve kornacki and krystal ball. thank you both for being here. >> thanks for having us, rev. >> steve, we're still waiting to find out who is subpoenaed. let's start there. but 17 people and three organizations have been. what is your reaction? >> yeah, i was talking to a
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member of the assembly just a few minutes ago, actually, and he said basically time is of the essence here. they're worried about a couple of things. one thing that members on the assembly side are worried about is that you have this parallel investigation that is going to be run by the state senate. the state senate is also going to be issuing subpoenas, also going to be asking for records. there is some concern here that this is going to be chaos, and that this is going to create an opportunity for the christie administration potentially to go to court and say hey, look, so and so is subpoenaed by the assembly. they want these documents. they want this person to appear. they also want the person to appear before the state senate committee. you're subpoenaing the same person, the same documents twice. some of these people may be represented at taxpayer expense, at public expense. it may give an opening to the governor's office to delay this thing by going to court and saying the legislature needs to get its act together, needs to act as one. and so part of it here is i think there is also a sense here -- >> that's already started. because nbc news has confirmed two subpoenas from the senate. >> right. >> egea and samson.
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>> regina egea and david samson. and the other question here, the other thing that there is some concern about is if the u.s. attorney himself, if paul fishman steps into this, essentially -- functionally that could k have the power of shutting down the state legislative. paul fishman is a democratic state appointed. when it comes to prosecuting public corruption, he has been nowhere near as chris christie was when chris christie was as a federal prosecutor. if you talk to democrats privately, they express lots of concerns about how they think paul fishman's office, which again, keep in mind includes a lot of chris christie holdovers, how that office might approach this case. >> let me ask you, krystal, the assemblyman leading the investigation was asked if he planned to subpoena the governor. here is what he said. >> there is no intention right now to subpoena the governor wall street. not seen any kind of direct link. so to even speculate really takes this investigation and
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takes it to an area that i don't want to go to right now. we're going to follow the leads we have. and when we have leads that are relevant, we'll follow them. we don't have any that take us in the direction right now. >> what do you say to that? >> i think the democrats are really trying to take a very measured approach. and it may not be necessary to actually subpoena christie's e-mails if you have regina egea, if you have david samson and you have the aides and all the people surrounding him, you can see what the conversation. you can see where the direction was coming from. because i think the bev big question that everyone has is when bridget kelly is saying "time for some traffic problems in ft. lee", did she come up with that on her own? where did she get that idea? who did she think she was benefitting? did she think that was coming directly from the governor, that she was backing him up by doing that? did she receive encouragement? i think if we have the e-mails and the documentation from the aides surrounding christie, we can get to that conclusion, and perhaps even evidence that allows us to then go and
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subpoena christie's records as well. >> let me ask you, though, steve, because you spend time in new jersey, and you know state structure in terms of governor's offices. i think krystal raised a good point about who she was helping, who she was serving. and clearly, that would lead to if there was a conspiracy, who were you doing this for. but even before that, she's deputy chief of staff sending this e-mail to someone she has no authority over. >> right. which is why another name to keep in mind here, another name that creates a lot of suspicion when you talk to people in trenton is bill stepien. >> right. >> bill stepien, the political lieutenant who ran boast of chris christie's political campaigns was going to play a top role in a 2016 chris christie presidential campaign. people look at him and say this is somebody who may be -- it's a lot more plausible than bridget kelly when you get how new to the governor's circle bridget kelly was, it may be more
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plausible for bill stepien. >> but i'm talking completely dealing in protocol. this person she sent it to, had there not been some prediscussion or some understanding she was forpg someone would have likely said well, who do you think you are. >> that's it, yeah. >> to do anything. >> obviously, as krystal says, you're picking up this discussion midstream. so the question is the more of these people you can subpoena, and if you get them to comply, the way wildstein and baroni did, oh, this bridget kelly e-mail, well, just two hours earlier, she talked to x. she e-mailed y. here is a perfect example is regina egea, who is the governor's current pick to be his next chief of stacht she oversees the port authority from the governor's office, at least in theory. three hours after this guy pat foy e writes this scathing memo that says you are possibly state and federal law, three hours after he writes that e-mail,
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bill baroni, forwards it, priority high to regina egea in the governor's office. you subpoena her records, you're going find out what did she do with it? who did she send it to? that was a damning memo that pat foye wrote. we'll find out who in the christie administration knew about it. >> today they hired a lawyer to lead the team, christie's office, to lead their team, randy maestro, a former assistant u.s. attorney. he specialized in organized crime as a prosecutor. he also worked as chief of staff and deputy mayor for rudy giuliani, and now co-chairs his firm's crisis management group. i know him. he is a smart guy. is this a good move, and what do they expect him to do? >> i think it is a good move. he has been a strong supporter of republican candidates financially. and i think christie has known him for a while. christie is really trying to take control of this narrative and show that he is serious about making changes in his office. because even if we find that
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there is no direct link to christie, right, there is no smoking gun and people say okay, it was just his aides acting in a rogue fashion, he still has to clean up the fact that he hired those folks, that he put his trust and the public's trust in those folks. and what does that say about him and the the way that he runs this office. so part of the job of randy mastro is to put those pieces together and demonstrate, okay, here is what we have done. here is where things went wrong, and here is the changes that we've made to make sure that it never happens again so that he can restore the trust both the people of new jersey, but also of voters more broadly if he is going to explore presidential. >> political damage. >> absolutely. >> you know, at the same time, steve, the former deputy chief of staff bridget kelly, who we were just talking about has also hired a lawyer named walter timpone who has worked for one of the largest firms in new jersey. he is appointed by the governor to serve on the new jersey election law enforcement commission and his firm's managing partner served on
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governor christie's transition team. so they're getting lawyered up. and certainly there is going some little protection. what are you hearing? you're plugged in. what are you hearing what is going on in the governor's office? i can't wait until you come on saturday morning. what are you hearing? >> my contacts inside the governor's office not as good now as they were a little while ago. there are a couple of indications here. when you look at who bridget kelly is using as an attorney, there is an indication there, and there was also a report in "the new york times" this week where some of bridget kelly's friends talked to a reporter of the "new york times." bridget kelly is sending signals from wherever she is that she is still hopeful of looking to, wants to do the best she can to protect the governor. she feels terrible about this. so there is a lot of talk out there will bridget kelly turn on chris christie and spill all these goods on him. she is sending word right now that that is not the case. >> how many times did he call her a liar?
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that is remarkable. >> the one that is a lot more interesting at this moment at least is david wildstein at that hearing openly asking for immunity that is somebody, and in fact the fact that his documents being released was the first clue that if there is no back channel communication going on there between him and the christie administration. and you know that because he blindsided them with his documents last week. they announced bill stepien tuesday night. on wednesday morning wildstein's documents came out that put stepien in the middle of all of this. if they had had any inkling that that was coming, that the governor's office had any inkling that was coming, they would have never announced this. different from kelly. >> he may not be on the governor's team? >> that tells me if you're looking at britain kelly and david wildstein, one seems a lot more interested in immunity and saying something than the other, and that's wildstein. >> wow. steve kornacki, i knew you had something.
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and krystal ball, thanks for your time tonight. be sure to watch "up with steve kornacki" 8:00 a.m. weekends and catch krystal on "the cycle" both right here on msnbc. ahead, as we approach martin luther king day, some on the right are distorting his dream and his legacy. and the justice department makes big news today on the issue of racial profiling. stay with us. (vo) you are a business pro. seeker of the sublime. you can separate runway ridiculousness... from fashion that flies off the shelves. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. and only national is ranked highest in car rental customer satisfaction by j.d. power. (natalie) ooooh, i like your style. (vo) so do we, business pro. so do we. go national. go like a pro. it's been that way since the day you met.
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on monday, america will pause for a national holiday to honor the legacy of reverend martin luther king jr. we should respect that legacy. but tonight there is a lot of controversy over flyers like this. using photo shopped images of dr. king to promote parties. these flyers use dr. king's image in inappropriate ways, ways that do not reflect the ideas he fought and died for. dr. king's daughter bernice calls this imaging appalling, and i agree. i'm even more disturbed by how dr. king's legacy is being distorted in the pitical arena by conservatives twisting his life's work for their own agenda. on the 50th anniversary of the march on washington, one conservative radio host, a former congressman, delivered
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his own "i have a dream" speech. >> i got a dream that young black males don't become daddies until after they're married and until after they have a job. how about that? i have a dream that blacks cease their dependency on government which has enslaved them to a life of poverty. >> that same month, another right wing activist claimed that if dr. king were alive today, he would oppose planned parenthood and a woman's right to choose. and last year, a pro-gun activist invoked king's name to oppose gun control with this shocking statement. >> i think martin luther king would agree with me if he were alive today that if african americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country's founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history. >> these kind of ignorant views
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and statements don't reflect the legacy of dr. king. he fought for civil rights, voting rights, health care, equality, respect. our job is to protect the progress he made while also advancing his dream. my next guest is working to advance that dream. ohio state representative alicia reece, she is pushing a new voter bill of rights in ohio. representative reece, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> now, first of all, how are voter rights under attack in your state right now? >> well, almost every week, whether it's in the house or the senate, there is a new bill that is being introduced and rushed through and sometimes signed into law to take away the voting rights that we currently have, whether it's taking away early voting days, whether it's
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purging the rolls in terms of those who are registered to vote. we are constantly under attack. and unfortunately, the ohio black legislative caucus having 17 members between the house and the senate, we don't have the votes to stop it, and we can't keep up with it, because it's coming every week at a very fast pace. >> what will the ohio voters bill of rights do that you started? >> well, we were very excited today to launch dr. king's people's movement is what we call it today when we brought together clergy, a. philip rand daf, naacp, the national action network. and we came with a up approach with a initiative to put a voter bill of rights in the ohio constitution. we start in ohio, but we would certainly like to see it across the country. and what it does is protect the voting rights that we've had. it takes early voting and puts
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into it the ohio state constitution. the right to vote, and who can vote right now, those things can be changed because it's not in the ohio constitution. and so this gives the people a voice. >> it puts it in the state constitution and then it can be a model around the country. that is what you kicked off today. because one of the things i was checking out, representative reece is that voter fraud in your state's 2012 election was nonexistent. you have 5.63 million votes cast. just 135 possible cases of voter fraud were referred to authorities. that's 0.002%. so all these new voter id laws and all these laws are against something that is not happening in your state. >> well, absolutely. it's a scare tactic. the real issue is in ohio and in my district.
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you know, we've had people who have waited almost two years to have their votes counted. in my district, we've had voter intimidation billboards targeted in the african american community, trying to stop people from voting. and so we thought it was very important to launch a people's campaign in the spirit of dr. king as we celebrate his birthday. we'll have a lot of ceremonial events throughout the country. and we want to move from singing "we shall overcome." it's time to overcome. and we're calling for a voter bill of rights that allows the people to have a voice and a vote and put voting rights in the constitution. >> ohio state representative alicia reece, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you for having me. the justice department makes big news on racial profiling today. it's progress. stay with us. with my dentures. i love kiwis. i've always had that issue with the seeds getting under my denture. super poligrip free --
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a bipartisan group in congress announced the bill today that will help fix the part of the voting rights act that was gutted by the supreme court last summer. after that court ruling staged across the region rushed to pass new restrictive voting laws. this injustice is why we marched last summer at the commemoration and continuation march on washington. and it's why attorney general
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eric holder filed lawsuits to challenge some of those restrictions. today's announcement is another move in the right direction. here is civil rights pioneer congressman john lewis. >> it is amazing to me, it is unbelievable, it is almost unreal that we were able to come together so quickly to craft a compromise that both democrats and republicans can find a way to support and move forward. >> almost unreal. how quickly the sides came together. and he was joined by one of those republicans, congressman jim sensenbrenner, who talked about the challenges the group faced. >> what we were facing and drafting a modernization of the vra was both a constitutional challenge given the court's decision, as well as a political challenge in figuring out how to get the votes to pass this
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legislation in a divided and very fractured and partisan congress. i think we have threaded that needle. >> congressman sensenbrenner has worked hard and across the aisle on this issue, and i congratulate him for it. this bill is not perfect, and it's not yet clear when or if it will come to a vote. but it is progress. and it is time. past time for our representatives in washington to finally take action to write these wrong. the old dining tabe at 25th and hoffman. ...and the little room above the strip mall off roble avenue. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪
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this past summer, attorney general eric holder shared his personal experiences of how he had been profiled. >> they brought me back to a number of experiences that i had as a young man. when i was pulled over twice and my car searched on the new jersey turnpike when i'm sure i wasn't speeding. or when i was stopped by a police officer while simply running to catch a movie at night in georgetown in washington, d.c. i was at the time of that last incident a federal prosecutor. >> after the trayvon martin verdict, president obama talked about his own experiences. >> very few african american men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. that includes me. there are very few african american men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks
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click on the doors of cars. that happens to me, at least before i was a senator. >> now the obama administration is taking a crucial step towards assuring that justice is the same for everybody. we've come a long way since april 1998 when state troopers fired into a van of black and latino men on the new jersey turnpike after years of court battles, the troopers finally admitted they stopped the men solely because of their skin color. i was involved in the leadership of that fight in '98. i'm still here with many others of races, religions, and orientation saying profiling is wrong. if we could end segregation in the generation ahead of us, we can end profiling and stop prejudgment today. dr. king and that generation made laws. we must protect them and enforce
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them. we cannot honor dr. king and dishonor the next step in those that follow in the generations that became the recipients of that mantle. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. the battle of ft. lee, and now the assault on fort hillary. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm kris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this road hog, the deliberate closing of the washington bridge has just got serious. the special investigator brought in after his role in the successful prosecution of rod blagojh


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